A weekend hiking at Voorne-Putten

Are you looking for a hiking destination within The Netherlands? Look no further, I have found you the perfect destination for a weekend get away in The Netherlands.

Let me introduce you to the beautiful area Voorne-Putten. With 375 kilometers of hiking trails, an amazing place to go hiking for the weekend.

Voorne-Putten is situated just south of Rotterdam, in the province of Zuid Holland. Which makes it an ideal place for a weekend getaway. It is rural and has the only south facing beach in The Netherlands, in Rockanje. Add to that all the picturesque villages and you have a perfect setting for fall.

Boutique hotel de Oude Veste

Where to stay?

We stayed in the beautiful old town of the city Hellevoetsluis at Boutique hotel de Oude Veste. A beautiful small scale hotel housed in the building of the old marine school. The building was build in 1878. And you will only find 7 rooms, all in their own beautiful style. We stayed in room 6, which has a beautiful view of the harbor of Hellevoetsluis and the windmill. Which was first located at ‘Droogdok Jan Blanken’ and was later moved to it’s current location.

The hotel is within walking distance of all the sights of Hellevoetsluis, so you won’t need your car while staying here.

What to see?

In Hellevoetsluis you will find the old defense lines. ‘Stichting Verdedigingswerken’ organizes tours along the defense lines from April until the beginning of October. We were fortunate to catch one of the last tours of the season. As they are not allowed to enter the casemates during the winter months, due to bats.

I can highly recommend taking a tour of the defense line in Hellevoetsluis, as it comes with an incredible story about the history of the beautiful city of Hellevoetsluis.

After your tour you can take a hike through the city of Hellevoetsluis, there are different routes possible. You can make your own route with the “knooppunten” which are well marked along the city.

If you stay within the city, I can highly recommend going for a sunrise hike, which is what we did. As the city is still quiet and the boats reflect beautiful in the water.

Where to go hiking?
But of course we came here to go hiking, as Voorne Putten counts 375 kilometer of hiking trails. So let me take you along on the hike “Duinen & Valleien” which starts in the dunes of Rockanje.

We parked our car at the info centre at Tenellaplas, in Rockanje. Where you can easily start the hike, as the first marker is right in front of the visitor centre.

Between the ‘knooppunten’ you will follow the red arrow, which will point you in the right direction to the next ‘knooppunt’.

It is an amazing route which totals 13 kilometers, along the beautiful forest and dunes of the island Voorne Putten.

The route is almost entirely unpaved and it almost doesn’t feel like you are in The Netherlands at all. As you just keep walking within nature.

The trail starts in the beautiful forests, and through the dunes, back into the forest. There is only a small part of the trail that will take you along a bicycle path, but that is only about 1k of the total trail.

There are numerous benches along the trail, so just bring your lunch along and find a beautiful spot for a picknick. While you enjoy the peacefulness of this area.

After returning to the visitor centre, don’t forget to check it out. It has some beautiful displays with information of this beautiful area. As well as a little shop. You can also buy hiking routes for children here, called the ‘knapzak’ route.

There is also a restaurant situated next to the parking lot, for your after hike drinks.


Ravense Hout, Hellevoetsluis

If you are looking for a shorter hike, you will want to visit the forest called Ravense Hout, just outside of the city. A beautiful forests, where dogs are allowed to roam free. And where you will find some amazing lanes and bridges inside the forest. We ended our weekend here with a short hike of 3k. Along the beautiful lanes and water ways that are numerous in this forest.

Where to eat?

Last, but not least, where to eat while visiting Voorne-Putten? I mean, who doesn’t get hungry from all that hiking? So a good and hearty meal will go along way.

We had dinner at restaurant de Beeren in Heenvliet, a beautiful restaurant, in an even more beautiful town. So don’t forget to head over into town after having dinner.


Have you ever visited the island of Voorne-Putten? Let me know in the comments or if you are planning on visiting the island in the future.

The Hallerforest

The Hallerforest is famous for the bluebell, they usually bloom during the month of April.

Since I had never been there before I decided to go there at the end of March, of course the bluebells weren’t blooming yet. Even without the bluebells I absolutely loved this forest. I could wander around this forest for hours on end.

In March the forest was still completely deserted at sunrise. For me it is the absolute perfect time to head into the forest. I love to wander around a forest that is just waking up.


You will find two trails in the Hallerforest, a short and a longer trail, but you can also just wander around the forest. There are a lot of signs, so it is quite easy to get around.


While I was shooting, a deer crossed the trail, unfortunately I didn’t see him, but my friend that tagged along did. He even saw the deer twice, but apparently I need new glasses, because I really didn’t see him.

We decided to not hike a trail, but just wander around the forest. Which in this forest is a perfect option, because the forest holds so many beautiful lanes.

Have you ever visited the Hallerforest?


 

The month of January

The other day I came up with this idea to do a review of the month, so you can have a little sneak peek in our live while we are not out travelling. We both have a day job, so we try to get out during the weekend as much as possible. This month has been full with all sort of activities. Let me tell you all about them.

Vakantiebeurs Utrecht

Every year we go to the ‘Vakantiebeurs’ in Utrecht, which is the biggest travel fair in The Netherlands. So of course this January we went there again and came home with lots of inspiration. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen some of my pictures of the fair in my instastories.

We looked into trips to Japan and some destinations closer to home, like the North Coast of Spain and the Dolomites in Italy. Either one will probably be our destination for our spring roadtrip.

There is also a hall with lots of camping gear and this year there was a stand with rooftop tents, which we added to our list of gear we would love to purchase in the future.

Hiking

Ofcourse we also went hiking, this time we ventured to the Kloosterbos in Belgium, where we did just a small hike in the late afternoon and we were so lucky to come across 4 deer on our hike! I can barely believe it myself, since I had never seen a deer in this area before.

We also stayed close to home for our walks with Milow where we ventured into the forest as much as possible.

Photography

Ofcourse I can’t go an entire month without going out just to photograph, so I went into town to do some night time photography.

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Bruges
The last weekend of January Andy and I headed out to Bruges with one of my friends. We visited the brewery the Halve Maan. I had never visited the brewery before, but ofcourse I did have some Brugse Zot before, which is one of the house brands of the brewery. Did you know that they transport the beer underneath the streets of Bruges? I will tell you all about Bruges in another blog.

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As you can tell we had a busy, but fun month of January. Along with a lot of trips and fun activities we also had a lot of appointments for our new home, which they hopefully start building in June. Keeping our fingers crossed for that.

So what did you do this month? And would you like me to continue posting a review of our month?

The Speulderbos

Like I told you a while ago we spend the last weekend of september on the Veluwe. I had signed up for a photography workshop that Sunday and since it started at 7 in the morning we decided to make it a weekend getaway.

Ourneverendingwanderlust Speulderbos-1935

We drove up to Garderen on Friday night after work. We stayed at the Bilderberg hotel Speulderbos, where we enjoyed the comforts of a hotel with the forest starting right at the front door.

We were extremely lucky with the weather that weekend, because we had fog in the morning, both on Saturday and Sunday, and a beautiful sunny afternoon. As a photographer I prefer to have some fog when I shoot in the forest.

The first day we didn’t get up super early, but we started the day a bit more relaxed with a breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast we drove up to Drie where we parked the car and hiked a 10km route through the Speulderbos.

We hiked through old forests and through fields of heather and we were lucky to run into the sepherd and his herd. We watched the sheep graze for a while.

Ourneverendingwanderlust Speulderbos-2003

The Speulderbos truly is a magical forest, I had never seen anything like it in The Netherlands.

Because we went in September it was also a great time to go and look for fungi, which is what we did during our hike. There are a lot of different varieties to be found in the Speulderbos and we were lucky to spot quite a few.

After our hike we returned to the parking lot at Boshuis Drie. We wanted to grab some lunch here, but unfortunately there was no free table left. If you want to have lunch here after your hike, make sure to make some reservations beforehand.

We drove back to the hotel to have a small lunch and just relax at the front lawn in the sun before we had dinner.

Have you ever visited the magical Speulderbos?

 

 

 

The Veluwe

I can’t believe October has come to an end already and I haven’t posted all month. So it is time to catch up. The last weekend of september we spend the weekend at the Veluwe, a national park in the Netherlands. And to be a bit more specific in the beautiful area of the Speulderbos. Sorry for all the Dutch names of the places, but there is never a good way to translate.

We stayed in a hotel for the weekend, just something different for a change. And I took a photography workshop there, which I will tell you more about in my next blog.

We have been to the Veluwe last year for the first time. Last year we stayed in the beautiful village Otterlo, which is situated right next to one of the entrances of the National Park. So we could just walk to the Park from our hotel.

The Veluwe is the biggest National Park based in the Netherlands, and it has a big variety of landscapes. It is also one of the places you will find deer among other animals.

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One thing the national park is famous for is the white bikes, which you will find at all three entrances and scattered throughout the park. You can just pick one up and use it all day, or just to get you from one pick up point to the next and continue by foot.

Last year we did a tour of the park by bike, because we were only there for a day. We wanted to see as much of the Veluwe as possible, so we rode the bikes. Lucky for us we had the place practicly to ourselves since we were there on a monday and summer break was already over.

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We rode past areas of sand, forests, heather. Around every corner the landscape was even more beautiful then the one before. The Veluwe truly amased me with all its differsity.

On the Veluwe you will also find the Kroller-Muller musuem, when we were there it was closed so we didn’t go in, but we did admire the sculptures outside.

We did however visit the Museonder, which is situated in the central area of the parc where you will also find a place to eat. The Museonder will tell you about how the Veluwe came to be and will tell you more about the nature and wildlife you can find in the park. It is a free interactive museum and a great place to take your kids.

You can easily spend an entire day here or even multiple days if you want to hike in the Park. There is something from everyone, art, museum, bike paths, hiking routes, and ofcourse some amazing nature.

If you visit the Netherlands you can’t skip this place. In my next blog I will tell you more about our adventures in the Speulderbos!

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